Members of the AVPCAC Council

Animal Welfare - Dr Anne Quain

Bachelor of Arts (Hons), Bachelor of Science (Vet)(Hons), Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Hons), MVetStud GradCertEduStud (HigherEd), DipECAWBM (AWSEL)

Anne is a companion animal veterinarian and senior lecturer at the Sydney School of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney. Before studying veterinary science, she completed an honours degree in philosophy. She has working in veterinary general practice since 2005.

She has a special interest in animal welfare and ethical decision making, and co-authored Veterinary Ethics: Navigating Tough Cases with Professor Siobhan Mullan (University College, Dublin). She has written over 50 peer-reviewed articles on veterinary ethics and aspects of primary care. She is interested in the assessment and improvement of quality of life in companion animals. She blogs at and writes a fortnightly companion animal column for Australian Community Media.

AVPCAC Member_Anne Quain

Palliative & End of Life Care - Dr Jackie Campbell

Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Hons), Diploma of Canine Myotherapy (Dip Galen CMT), Certified Animal Hospice and Palliative Care Veterinarian (CHPV)

Jackie is one of Australia’s leading voices in the field of veterinary palliative care medicine. She graduated from the University of Queensland in 2006 and spent eight years in general practice before founding Sunset Home Vets, Australia’s largest network of veterinarians focused exclusively on end-of-life care.

She has a special interest in mobility, musculoskeletal issues and the management of chronic pain, making her a vocal supporter of the inclusion of allied health professionals such as physiotherapists within veterinary treatment plans. She has been a TEDx speaker and a University of Queensland, Young Alumni Awardee and continues to passionately advocate for more awareness of palliative care issues within her industry.

AVPCAC Member_Dr Jackie Campbell

Chair, Clinical Communication and Grief Education - Rosie Overfield

Bachelor of Communication, Graduate Diploma of Counselling, Master of Human Resources and Organisational Development, Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing, GAICD, Advance Care Planning Facilitator, Principal Master Mental Health First Aid Instructor.

Rosie has been working in the veterinary industry since 1999 and is a well-respected clinical communication educator and experienced counsellor. Rosie manages her own bond-centred veterinary practice in Queensland as well as consulting and training with other veterinary teams across Australasia to help them understand the pet parent experience through pet palliation, end-of-life planning, and all types of grief and bereavement. 

She regularly delivers workshops and conference sessions, in both veterinary and human fields, on clinical communication, advance care planning, grief and loss, and self-care as an EOL/death work professional. Rosie is the current Chair of AVPCAC. 

AVPCAC Member_Rosie Overfield

Oncology - Dr Kathleen O'Connell

Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Hons), Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (Oncology), Member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (Small Animal Medicine), Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Hons) (Microbiology)

Kathleen has been dedicated to the field of oncology since working on the human melanoma vaccine trial at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in 2001 as a researcher. She credits her background in immunology research and publication of a thesis on tumour cell metastasis with piquing her interest in the specialty of oncology. After a number of years in cancer research she completed a Bachelor of Veterinary Science, graduating from the University of Queensland in 2006 with first class honours.

Following graduation, she worked in general practice in Brisbane before commencing training as a resident in Veterinary Oncology in 2008. In 2010 she attained MANZCVS in Small Animal Medicine and then in 2013 attained FANZCVS and became a registered specialist in Veterinary Oncology. She is a co-owner of Veterinary Oncology Services and a founding partner of the new Animal Referral Hospital located in Sinnamon Park, Brisbane.

AVPCAC Member_Kathleen

Animal Physiotherapy - Brooke Williams

Bachelor of Physiotherapy, Master of Animal Studies

Brooke is a qualified human Physiotherapist specialised in Animal Physiotherapy and is a highly motivated member of her field. She graduated from the University of Queensland in 1997 and completed the Masters of Animal Studies (Physiotherapy) in 2005. Since this time Brooke has focused her energy on helping to establish this new profession in Australia as one of the most rapidly growing industries in Veterinary Medicine. She has been the Chair of the Animal Physiotherapy Group of APA, finalist of the International Veterinary Rehabilitation Therapost award, and been involved in the development and teaching on APA courses for Physiotherapists. She has lectured at Veterinary and APA conferences throughout Australia, and teaches on the Post Graduate Masters of Veterinary Physiotherapy (University Liverpool UK) program.

As the director of Holistic Animal Physiotherapy, Brooke has worked in many Veterinary Specialist centres to rehabilitie a wide variety of acute and chronic conditions. She has established a purpose built rehabilitiation centre on the Sunshine Coast and has a passion to maximise the quality of life for her patients (owners included) right to the end stages. Brooke believes working closely with the veterinary profession fosters a uniquely holistic team approach to every animal’s rehabilitation.

AVPCAC Member_Brooke Williams

Legals and Veterinary Nursing - Cat Walker

Bachelor of International Studies (Hons1), Bachelor of Laws, Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice, Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing, Registered Veterinary Nurse

Cat started her career in corporate social responsibility assessment before working as a solicitor in planning and environment law, litigation, and later as a regional generalist. Cat took a break from law to become the co-founder, co-owner and General Manager of a GP veterinary surgery for over 7 years. During this time she became a registered veterinary nurse and developed a passion for the industry.

Cat sold her veterinary practice in 2021 and is now the Veterinary Nurse Manager of the Animal Emergency Service on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. She is also the creator and host of the Radio Vet Nurse podcast. Cat uses her unique blend of veterinary and legal skills and knowledge to advocate for positive change in the veterinary industry.


AVPCAC Member_Cat Walker

Small Animal Euthanasia - Dr Emma Whiston

Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Hons), Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Veterinarian (CHPV), Fear Free Certified Veterinarian

After graduating from the University of Melbourne in 1993, Emma worked in small animal practice until 2004 when she established Australia’s first dedicated veterinary home euthanasia service called My Best Friend. Emma is passionate about all aspects of end of life care and her particular special interest is in achieving optimal euthanasia experiences for all involved – the animal, the owner and also the attending veterinary professionals. Emma enjoys working collaboratively with colleagues and as well as mentoring, lecturing and speaking, she is a keen advocate for improving mental health and emotional well-being for veterinary professionals.

AVPCAC Member_Dr Emma Whiston

Advisory Contributors

Hospice & Companion Animal Euthanasia - Dr Kathleen Cooney

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (USA), Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Veterinarian, Master of Science (Neurobiology), Bachelor of Science (Zoology)

Kathleen is the council’s first international contributing member and brings with her a wealth of experience in end of life care. She has been practising advanced hospice medicine for over 10 years and is the founder of Home to Heaven, P.C. in Loveland, Colorado, one of the world’s first, and largest, animal hospice services.

Kathleen is a past President of the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (IAAHPC) and remains active in their organisation, including design of their Animal Hospice and Palliative Care Certification Program, launched in 2016. Kathleen was one of the first in the world to become a certified provider of animal hospice and palliative care. She is well-known for her work in companion animal euthanasia and has authored two books on the subject. In 2017, Kathleen launched a certificate program for the Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy. She is a strong advocate for best practices in all aspects of end-of-life care and speaks internationally on such topics.

AVPCAC Member_Dr Kathleen Cooney

Critical & Emergency Care Specialist - Dr Cheryl Braswell

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (USA), Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, Certified Veterinary Hyperbaric Technologist, Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner

Cheryl has been practising veterinary medicine for 36 years, graduating from the University of Georgia in 1979. She originally started her career as an associate small animal general practitioner, however in 2005, pursued a residency in small animal emergency and critical care. Cheryl has a sincere passion for the care of veterinary patients with life-limiting diagnoses and believes there is a place for palliative medicine and hospice care of veterinary patients seen in the emergent setting.

In addition to her Diplomate status in the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (2012), Cheryl is a Certified Veterinary Hyperbaric Technologist (2013) and a Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner.  She is the Chief of Emergency and Critical Care at the Regional Institute for Veterinary Emergency and Referral (RIVER), Chattanooga, Tennessee.

AVPCAC Member_Cheryl Braswell

Veterinary Behaviour - Dr Heather Chee

BVSc (Hons) Member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (Veterinary Behaviour)

Heather graduated as a vet from the University of Sydney in 2007 and spent 5 years working as a small animal vet in general practice before joining the Veterinary Behaviour Component of RSPCA NSW working regionally to help animals within shelters with behavioural disorders. In 2014, she founded Vet Behaviour Team with Dr Amanda Cole, working with families to address the crippling effect of mental disease on our pets. Her passion is to teach people to recognise and understand fear, distress and anxiety in our pets and so they can help their pets lead happier lives.

Heather is Secretary/Treasurer of the Veterinary Behaviour Chapter of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists and has been an examiner for the College for Membership in Veterinary Behaviour.

AVPCAC Member_Heather Chee

Pharmacology - Dr Vivian Song

BVSc, Member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (Pharmacology).

Vivian is a companion animal veterinarian who graduated from the University of Sydney and worked for pharmaceutical companies for 8 years in various functions including clinical research. Vivian currently works for a medical research institute in Sydney.

Outside of work, Vivian has a membership in pharmacology with the Australia and New Zealand College of Veterinary scientists and has been involved with the pharmacology chapter as the current examiner for veterinary pharmacology.

AVPCAC Member_Vivian Song

About Us

AVPCAC was established in 2017 in an effort to harness expertise from a range of specialities across veterinary and allied health fields.

It aims to develop and support best end-of-life care practices within veterinary medicine, encourage cross discipline interaction between veterinarians and allied health practitioners to improve patient outcomes, and be a source of practical advice for veterinary practitioners looking to increase their clinical skills in this area.

AVPCAC also endeavours to openly encourage conversations about death and bereavement within the veterinary and animal health field.

Disclaimer Notice

Information provided on this site is of an advisory nature. It should not be considered or used as a substitute or replacement for veterinary medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Recommendations as to therapeutics, diagnostics and best standards of practice are constantly evolving in the veterinary industry and are subject to change.

The AVPCAC and its members disclaim liability for any damages or losses, direct or indirect, that may result from use of or reliance on information provided here. If your pet has or is suspected to have a medical problem or condition, please seek specialist advice.

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